Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WTF Wednesday: Middle School Bus Inappropriateness

There are days when I'm extremely happy that I have older kids. They can prepare basic food for themselves, turn on the TV, clean their own rooms (and bathroom now), dress themselves, and temper tantrums generally involve slamming doors and then silence instead of endless screaming.

But when my 11 year old comes home and tells me the other kids on her bus were watching porn on their phones on the way to school that morning, I immediately wish I had toddlers again just to not have to deal with crap like that.
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I jumped ahead, though. Let me back up a bit.

The Girl is in the 6th grade and got accepted to a middle school off base with a self contained GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) program. I love her program. The teachers are amazing, they challenge her, and they teach more than the stupid Common Core Standards shit tells them they have to teach. Because her school is off base, we have the option of taking her to school each day (which is looking better and better as each day passes), or putting her on the bus in the mornings.

The first day of school, the bus driver drove right by her bus stop, where 5 children were standing, and just continued with his route like he hadn't forgotten a thing. That should have been my sign.

After spending 15 minutes on the phone with the supervisor of the school district's transportation that day, he told me if there was ever anything else that came up that worried me, to let him know. Oh, good dear gracious, I'm sure he wasn't expecting the list I accrued from that point on.

My daughter immediately starting coming home in the evenings, telling me she couldn't stand her bus and the kids on it. She chose to stay away from them, which, in turn, got her teased by them because she'd rather be a loner and listen to her music in the morning than sit in the back and talk to them.

They also teased her about her acne. Assholes, right? To tease a child about acne that they haven't yet experienced because my daughter hit puberty before them? May karma strike acne down on these kids who teased my daughter about her acne...

My blood started boiling, but I'm an old-fashioned mom. I understand that kids get teased. Getting mildly teased helps strengthen you, and my daughter was handling the teasing just fine- with strength, poise, and letting it roll off her back. She knew the kids on her bus were assholes, so she didn't let it bother her. Proud mama moment right there, let me tell you.

A few weeks ago, my daughter comes come and tells me that the kids on her bus are cussing. Okay, they are 11, 12 and 13 year olds- cussing when they are away from their parents is to be expected as they try and figure out who they are and make themselves look badass to other kids. As she still didn't even associate with these kids, and knew what they were doing was wrong, I didn't worry.

Fast forward a few days and she comes home, telling me that one of the girls, at the ripe age of 11, is

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WTF Wednesday: How ABC Plays God with Their TV Show Characters

Warning: This post contains spoilers about the TV show "Once Upon a Time." Not current spoilers, though, so if you are caught up on the show, you are fine. I'm behind... like way behind... so my spoilers are only spoilers if you are a slack ass like me who is just now watching "Once Upon a Time." 

The kids and I are finally catching up on "Once Upon a Time," which means we're just now finishing season 1. We've finally found out who the mysterious gentleman, August Booth, who rode in on his motorcycle, really is, and it wasn't what I expected.

He turned out to be Pinocchio.

I was shocked.

Not because he was Pinocchio.

Because this man, brunette with beautiful blue eyes:

Was this ginger-headed, brown-eyed child:

WTF, ABC? Y'all are now playing God with the genetic makeup of your TV show characters?

How in the hell does a ginger-headed, brown-eyed child turn into a brunette with baby blue eyes as an adult? And don't give me some BS about hair dye and contacts- there is no logical reason for your August Booth

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Our First Clash of Parenting Styles

There are many times over the course of your parenting journey that you and your significant other will butt heads on how to handle a situation.

Yes, it even happens to those of us who have written books on the subject of parenting. I'm definitely in the midst of one of those mix-baking-soda-and-vinegar parenting experiments I talk about in my book.

My kids have become spoiled- not super-spoiled, but we're at the taking-things-for-granted stage of being pre-teens. My daughter has her phone, which she is always on, and The Ginger recently acquired Hubby's old phone, which he uses to play games on while connected to our wifi. Because my kids are constantly distracted by their electronic devices, it's a daily struggle in my house to get them to do their chores. Forget about asking them to do something outside their normal realm, too; any request is immediately met with grumbles, excuses and the beginnings of backtalk (which get shut down really quickly).
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And yet, my kids think they are entitled to their phones/electronic devices because they are theirs.

We have taken away the devices before, and of course behavior improves. Then, as soon as they get those shiny little boxes back into their hands, they are right back to being lazy, griping trolls.

I'm at my wit's end. I'm ready to banish all electronics during the evening, yes, even for Hubby and I. My philosophy is to lead by example. If I'm reading a book instead of playing on my phone, my kids will read a book instead of play on their phones. If my phone is on the kitchen island for the night, and texts and emails can wait until I go to bed, then everyone's phones can be on the kitchen island, and texts and emails can wait until bedtime.

This is where Hubby and I are seriously butting heads.

He's a do as I say, not as I do type of person. He feels that because he's the parent, he can play on his phone all night, stay glued to the computer while watching TV at the same time, but he can tell the kids not to do the same. Why? Because he's the adult and they are the children.

This makes me want to scratch my nails down my face. One of my biggest parenting pet peeves is Do As I Say, Not as I Do parents, and I'm married to one.

And for the record, I didn't know I was married to one until our kids became of the age where lead by example started to affect things we find enjoyable, like playing on our phones.

When I first suggested that we all practiced self-control when it came to our phones and electronic devices in

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WTF Wednesday: The Stairs of Death

While I am a stay-at-home-mom, and it is my job to clean the house, it is not my job to play maid by cleaning up after everyone. My kids, almost 12 and 9 years old, and Hubby, are perfectly capable of cleaning up after themselves, and then I'm supposed to just do the major house stuff (sweeping, mopping, dusting, etc) to get the house clean.

Of course, things never go as they are supposed to. Hubby leaves for work, the kids leave for school, and there is clutter left everywhere that I refuse to put in its proper place because it's not my clutter. It does, however, make it very difficult to do my regular house cleaning with crap laying all around.

So, I had to come up with a solution. I thought about putting it all in a basket, and having people go through it, but I knew my family: I knew we'd just end up with a random basket full of shit that no one wanted to go through. Then a light bulb came on:

Pile everything onto the foot of the stairs, and that way, people could just pick up their stuff on the way to their rooms and put it all away. It gets it out of my way so I can clean, but I'm not actually putting it away, leaving that the responsibility of its owner.

Great plan, right?


This is what happens in my house when you pile crap onto the stairs -->

I cleaned on Monday. It is now Wednesday. The stairs have looked like this for 2 days.

Which is why I now call them The Stairs of Death.

Shoes randomly fall.

Cats decide to lay on the clothes, causing the pile to fall over into the walkway.

Family members pile more crap on top without putting away the stuff underneath. Why? Because apparently there's a game in my house that everyone plays called Let's Just Add to the Problem Instead of Being Part of the Solution. Or maybe the game is called How Much Shit Can We Pile on Top of Other Shit Until the Pile of Shit Falls? It's like Jenga, I think.

It honestly baffles me. It seriously makes me scratch my head, wondering WTF? My kids run up and down

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WTF Wednesday: The Breastfeeding Law

Late last week, a story popped up on my facebook newsfeed:

Breastfeeding is Now Required By Law in the United Arab Emirates

What? By law? Well of course I have to read this.

Thankful I did, because it gave me my biggest WTF moment of this past week.
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If you haven't read the full article, I definitely advise you to, but for those who want to continue with my opinion on the matter without a pause, here's the rundown:

The Emirates' Federal National Council passed a clause as part of their new Child Rights Law, stating that new moms in the United Arab Emirates must breastfeed their children for a full two years, and any mother not abiding by this law can be sued by their husband. If a woman is unable to breastfeed because of health reasons, a wet nurse will be provided for her child(ren).

I couldn't be happier at this moment to be an American.

I support breastfeeding. I support bottle feeding. As I state numerous times in my book, "Tatted Mom's Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids" I support whatever feeding method nourishes your child while keeping you sane and your little one safe and happy.

I've read the million articles on why "breast is best."

I've read the million articles on how formula nowadays is as close to breast milk as ever before.

I've even read articles that state formula can be better for your baby than breast milk because it gives the

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Kids- Stop Playing With Your Poo... I Mean Pou!!

I came of age when the Tamagotchi was popular. Yes, my friends and I all had the little keychain pets that we fed, played with and put to sleep. Those were awesome to us, and I'm sure my parents shook their heads at my digital pet.

But now, dear Inklingers, there's Pou.

I know you want to pronounce that like "pow," but don't. It's pronounced "poo," as in crap, feces, shit. And, it's colored and shaped like poo.

They call it an "alien pet." I call it crap.

We have android phones, so I will direct you to the google play store, where you can fully dive into Pou (and please remember to pronounce it "poo" in your head when you are reading this post today, because I will be adding in so many poo puns, it will start to stink).

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Pou is an alien pet that you can feed, take care of and play with. You can dress your Pou. You can help your Pou get better when it's sick. You can visit your friends' Pous. You can talk to your Pou, and it talks back.

Sounds like an acid trip from hell, doesn't it? I mean, even when I've been seriously drunk in the past, my poo never actually talked back to me.

My daughter was the first to come across this game and downloaded it to her phone. Then my son, having